Summary: I want to invite us to gather around one of the striking dynamics that is at hand within our world… that of financial uncertainty and insecurity.
This past week was certainly a significant one for our nation. This past Tuesday something of remarkable and historical proportions was experienced as the first black president was elected to lead our nation. It was a moment in which I gathered my two older kids… and tried to convey just how significant this was.
Of course there were many issues at hand… plenty that may have given reason to take heed or hope.
Whether this election causes you to take heed or take hope… or perhaps both, I was reminded how much I value gathering as a community identifies with a calling that transcends the limits of our national politics.
We are certainly are a nation deeply shaped by a Biblical worldview… and even Biblical convictions. That such principles have been a part of what has made this nation great is so clear. And as such… it is understandable that many would feel concerned if they see the nation drift away from those principles…. And positive if we see something reflect those principles.
But we never have been nor will be a country that establishes a common religion or belief. And this reminds us of what God had always intended us to be… a ‘distinct people’ (1 Peter 2:9)… an alternative redemptive community in the world. We must embrace that we gather as such… as a people who seek to be centered in God in ways that remain distinct… that permeate outward.
As such, I want to invite us to gather around one of the striking dynamics that is at hand within our world… that of financial uncertainty and insecurity.
Only two and a half days after being elected the next president… on Friday, President Elect Obama began his first press conference with these words… "This morning, we woke up to more sobering news about the state of our economy. . . . " and noting some of the latest news, stated that “we are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime, and we’re going to have to act swiftly to resolve it.
Some of the news reported within just the past three days…
• Nation’s retailers saw sales that were the lowest for October since 1969. (http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20081106/Retail.Sales/)
• A group of food price analyst announced that food prices will rise at least 7% in the coming year (2009). (http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20081106/NEWS-US-USA-FOOD-PRICES/)
• This week…the Labor Department said the number of people continuing to draw unemployment benefits jumped to a 25-year high
There are broadly experienced feelings of uncertainty… and insecurity. It’s being felt in our nation, our world, and likely … at various levels… within ourselves.
I know that we don’t all feel this in the same way or at the same level… but there is a common underlying effect is at least some level of feeling less certain and secure about our financial resources.
I also know that it is an unfolding drama that is playing out. On one hand it involves constant psychological swings… driven by daily financial news, daily turns in the stock market, as well as this weeks election which may have been felt as a break in the focus… even a time of hope. But beneath the many daily swings also lies fundamental issues that are not likely to change anytime soon.